Definition of curiosity in English:

curiosity

Syllabification: cu·ri·os·i·ty
Pronunciation: /ˌkyo͝orēˈäsitē
 
/

noun (plural curiosities)

  • 1A strong desire to know or learn something: filled with curiosity, she peered through the window curiosity got the better of me, so I called him
    More example sentences
    • And I am consumed by curiosity and a desire to know what on earth this cool thing is going to be like.
    • In his essay on Leonardo, Freud even derives curiosity and the desire for knowledge from sexuality.
    • The latter is a moralistic bore who puts intellectual curiosity second to her desire to pontificate.
    Synonyms
    interest, spirit of inquiry, inquisitiveness
  • 2A strange or unusual object or fact: he showed them some of the curiosities of the house
    More example sentences
    • And amidst the displays of oddities and curiosities, the museum of anatomy was in some ways the oddest and most curious.
    • Collectors paid much greater sums for medical curiosities.
    • The unusual surface textures of fossil cycads have been interesting curiosities to collectors for a long time.

Phrases

curiosity killed the cat

proverb Being inquisitive about other people’s affairs may get you into trouble.
More example sentences
  • Defending, he said: ‘This is a case where curiosity killed the cat.’
  • Stuffed as we were, however, curiosity killed the cat - and it very nearly took us with it as we recklessly agreed to share a devilled chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream.
  • I won't reveal any more of the plot than that, but if there's a moral to this story, it's that old truism that says that curiosity killed the cat.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French curiousete, from Latin curiositas, from curiosus (see curious).

More definitions of curiosity

Definition of curiosity in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space